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Handkerchief length - Bandanna handkerchief piece-goods

Bandanna handkerchief piece-goods

  • Object:

    Handkerchief length

  • Place of origin:

    Berhampur, Murshidabad District (Made)

  • Date:

    c.1880 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tie-dyed silk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Continuous purple silk piece-goods with repeated tie-dyed ('bandhana') pattern in red and white. The fabric is designed to be cut into individual bandanna handkerchief.

Place of Origin

Berhampur, Murshidabad District (Made)


c.1880 (Made)



Materials and Techniques

Tie-dyed silk


Length: 479 cm, Width: 110 cm

Object history note

Tie-dyed silk pieces were exported by the East India Company from Berhampur to Britain in the mid-18th century to become the 'bandanna' handkerchiefs and scarves.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Skelton, Robert and Mark Francis eds., Arts of Bengal, text by Robert Skelton, John Lowry, Andrew Topsfield, Veronica Murphy and Susan Stronge, London: Whitechapel Art Gallery 1979, no. 193, p.68.
ISBN 0 85488 047 X

Murphy, Veronica and Rosemary Crill, Tie-dyed Textiles of India, London: Victoria and Albert Museum 1991, pp.126-127.
ISBN 0 944142 30 3
p. 76, pl. 3
Das, N. and Llewellyn-Jones, R. (eds.). Murshidabad: Forgotten Capital of Bengal, ISBN 978-81-921106-9-1. Marg, Mumbai, 2013. ISBN 978-81-921106-9-1.
pp.126-7, Fig, 53
Tie-dyed textiles of India : tradition and trade / Veronica Murphy and Rosemary Crill. London: Victoria and Albert Museum :in association with Mapin Publishing, 1991 Number: 0944142303

Labels and date


Traders exported handkerchiefs made in Bengal to Europe and North America. Printed silk choppas (from Hindi chhapna: 'to print') were hugely popular, as were tie-dyed silk bandannoes (from Hindi bandhana: 'to tie'), the origin of the modern bandanna handkerchief. Fine Bengali cottons were also used for handkerchiefs, sometimes with mottos or names woven into their borders.

Length of bandannoe handkerchiefs
Tie-dyed silk
Berhampur, West Bengal, 1830-80
V&A: IS.678-1883

Choppa handkerchief
Printed silk
Kasimbazar, West Bengal, 1820-50
V&A: IS.17-2008

Personalised handkerchief
Cotton with silk borders, woven with the name and titles of Colonel T.H. Hendley
Santipur, West Bengal, 1898-1903
Given by Mrs G.M. Hendley
V&A: IS.218-1992

Production Note

Berhampur is close to Murshidabad town.








South & South East Asia Collection

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